Saturday, March 03, 2007
Loneliness by the track
Union Station, deserted
Toronto, Ontario, March 2007 [Click all images to enlarge]
Every time I go somewhere, I take my camera with me. Although I don't always have a lot of free time, I try to grab a picture here and there so that when I get home, I have something tangible to share, a memory of where I was.
The rule applies even on a same-day trip like my visit to Toronto this past Thursday. Because the day itself was so rushed (see here and here for more background), I didn't any time to shoot. A massive blizzard/ice storm had slammed into the entire region, and I was so focused on preparing for a daunting series of interviews that the camera sat in its bag the entire day.
So as I took my seat on the late evening train - delayed, of course - to head home, I found myself disappointed that I didn't have an image of a memorable trip. I screwed up my courage, picked up my camera, walked back to the still-open stairway and asked the three Via Rail staff on the platform if I could get off for a moment to take some pictures.
One of them smiled broadly, said she liked my "big camera", and waved me on down. They said they were still waiting for the signal to leave, and I had a few minutes to have some fun. Cool, I thought. Couldn't do that in the airport.
So I descended to the cold platform. Because snow was still blowing randomly, I needed to ensure none got on the lens. I guessed the wind's direction and positioned myself really close to the side of the stainless steel car. I've always loved the look of stainless steel because it literally reflects the romance of the rails. I shot quickly before heading back and thanking them for their courtesy and understanding.
I took a final picture of the three workers before boarding the train, and handed my business card to one of them as we animatedly chatted about the crazy things I do to get a picture. In a very barren place, on a cold night far from home, I connected with three strangers and hopefully brought them a little warmth as they wondered about their own trips home.
Your turn: Connecting far from home. Please discuss.